12 Days of Christmas: New Year’s

Was it just me or were the holidays a little weird this year?  I kept finding myself going through the motions of creating holiday cheer but not actually feeling it.  So, for me, New Year’s arrived with a sigh of relief.  This year, my dear friend Rob came for the weekend and my parents ended up extending their Christmas stay to celebrate New Year’s with us.

(cue smoke and flashback music)

Imagine if you will a time long, long ago (1982 to be exact.)  Our family was living in the greatest neighborhood imaginable.  Most of the moms stayed at home and only a few worked – definitely bucking the trend of the early 80’s where women flocked to work in droves.  We had multi-family BBQs, played hide-and-seek and whiffle ball in our cul-de-sac until well after dark in the summertime and celebrated our birthdays together.

One of my favorite neighborhood holidays was New Year’s Eve.  Every year about four or five families would get together at the Yuen’s house and we would eat, play games (for prizes!) and ring the New Year in together.  I had so much fun in those early years that as an adult, I found those celebrations hard to top.

So this year, I wanted to re-create that family celebration feeling as much as possible.  My mom and I made tons of food – bacon wrapped dates, deviled eggs, a veggie platter with garlic aioli sauce, popcorn, jalepeno cream cheese dip with crackers, party mix, homemade eggnog and mini deli sandwiches for late-night snacking.

Unfortunately, that weird holiday vibe wasn’t about to let me say goodbye to 2010 without a few baking hiccups.  I completely jacked up the lemon drop cookies by not paying attention and adding ½ cup too much sugar.  The result resembled hard candy more than cookies.  So, I made another batch of lemon cookies from a completely different recipe (which turned out fine, thankfully.)  The whoopee pies I made looked more like mini muffins and in the end I just turned the whole batch over to my mom and asked her to split the whoopee muffins in half and handle the frosting – my patience was truly tried.

In the end, we did play charades, (watching Madison try to act out Song: “Black Velvet” was priceless) and shared a champagne toast even though at one point, Joel looked around the room and jokingly asked, “What is this?  A New Year’s Eve celebration at an AA meeting?”  He was right, not one of us was drinking an alcoholic beverage.

But 2011 got off to a great start the following morning when I decided, “hang it – I’m taking everyone out to breakfast” and later that day I turned my kitchen over to Rob who made the most amazing chili.  I did manage to make homemade cornbread without messing it up and all in all it was a pretty good start to the new year.

Our first dinner of 2011 - chili and cornbread

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3 comments on “12 Days of Christmas: New Year’s

  1. Rob
    January 4, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Yay! I was featured in the blog. Thank you for granting access to your kitchen, it was an honor cooking for y’all. I’m glad you thought the chili was amazing. Thanks again for the hospitality – you always take such great care of your house guests.

  2. This Italian Family
    January 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Sad day for the weirdness! I’m glad that the holidays are behind you now, though, so you can move on to happier days! 🙂 And hey, we all have kitchen mishaps from time to time so don’t sweat it. 🙂

  3. Eric Shunk
    January 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    That truly was the best neighborhood, wasn’t it?
    Whatever happened to the Yuens, anyway? Amazing we never had a cul-de-sac vs cul-de-sac whiffle ball comp….

    p.s. love the blog 🙂

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